Chaotic scenes accompanied day two of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan as foreign governments continued to evacuate their citizens. A look at terrorism and violence indices shows that a deterioration of the situation took place already during the U.S. and NATO missions in the country. The data from the Institute of Economics and Peace, which publishes several reports on the topic, show that terrorism incidents and deaths in the country quadrupled since 2011. In 2019, 41 percent of all global terror deaths occurred in Afghanistan, with the Taliban insurgent group responsible for a large majority of them.
The country was designated as the place most affected by terrorism in the IEP’s 2020 and 2019 editions of the World Terrorism Index, a deterioration from rank 3 in 2010 and rank 16 in 2002, shortly after the U.S. invasion. The ever more fragile situation took a toll on the country’s economy, with the equivalent of 50 percent of GDP lost to violence, up from around 30 percent in 2007, making any progress extremely difficult.
As a result of the situation, more than three quarters of the Afghan public reported in 2019 that they felt less safe than five years ago.